|Publication number||US6931258 B1|
|Application number||US 09/506,582|
|Publication date||Aug 16, 2005|
|Filing date||Feb 18, 2000|
|Priority date||Feb 22, 1999|
|Also published as||EP1032183A2, EP1032183A3, EP2375713A1|
|Publication number||09506582, 506582, US 6931258 B1, US 6931258B1, US-B1-6931258, US6931258 B1, US6931258B1|
|Inventors||Johanna Jarnstrom, Heidi Jorgensen|
|Original Assignee||Nokia Mobile Phones Limited|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (19), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (35), Classifications (11), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a radiophone provided with an operation key with multiple functionality for handling access to a menu structure.
The term “radiophone” covers a portable unit provided with a transmitter/receiver, which is capable of transmitting signals with speech and/or data via electromagnetic waves/radio waves to another unit comprising a transmitter/receiver.
The phones sold by the applicants, as for example the models Nokia 5110™, Nokia 6110™ and Nokia 8810™, are exponents of the presently dominating user interface style based on two menu handling keys (soft keys) with multiple functionality for accessing different features in the phone. These features can e.g. be user settings, handling messages, setting call options, security options, etc. In idle mode, the two soft keys on e.g. Nokia 6110™ and Nokia 8810™ allow access to the menu structure and the phone book, respectively. The phone book is a phone number database stored on the SIM card of the phone and/or in the memory in the phone itself. The call handling is handled by two other keys—one for establishing or answering a call and one for terminating a call. Even if the soft keys facilitate the access to different features, the users desire an even more well-arranged and manageable keypad.
One example of an improvement is disclosed in GB-A-2,319,691, which describes a user interface for a radiophone. The radiophone comprises a user interface and a controller unit connected to the user interface. The user interface comprises a display and a keypad having an operation key, of which function is controlled by the controller unit and is displayed in a predetermined area of the display. The radiophone is capable of assuming a plurality of states in which a group of predetermined actions associated with the state concerned may be performed by the operation key. The controller unit displays one of the actions as a default function in the predetermined area of the display. This improvement as disclosed in GB-A-2,319,691 provides a user interface for a radiophone, which facilitates the normal operation for accessing different features in the radiophone.
Another example of an improvement is disclosed in GB-A-2,322,512, which also describes a user interface for a radiophone. The radiophone is provided with a user interface including a single multi-functionality key with multiple functionality, including call handling. The functionality of the multi-functionality key is displayed on a display, and is controlled by a controller. The controller monitors the information displayed on the display and controls the functionality of the multi-functionality key in dependence of the displayed information. This means that the call handling keys can be included in a single menu handling key, instead of having separate call handling keys. Thus, this improvement as disclosed in GB-A-2,322,512 provides a user interface for a radiotelephone which facilitates the normal operation. This improvement is also a very appreciated feature called NaviKey™ in the applicant's phone Nokia 3110™.
However, even if both GB-A-2,319,691 and GB-A-2,322,512 provide a well-arranged and manageable user interface, it is a general desire to facilitate the access to predetermined actions associated with a state when the radiophone is in an idle state. For example, upon pressing on a key on the alphanumerical keyboard on the phone, it is desired to facilitate the access to features which are related to actions affected by the alphanumerical keyboard.
The main object of the present invention is to provide a radiophone provided with an operation key, which enables an easy access to predetermined actions associated with a state when the radiophone is in an idle state. Thus, upon pressing on a key on e.g. an alphanumerical keyboard on the phone, it shall be easy to access different features related to actions caused by the alphanumerical keyboard.
One particular advantage of the invention is that it is possible to receive a menu with several options, upon pressing on a key in a first group of keys, e.g. an alphanumerical key, in idle mode, and thereafter pressing on an operational key. In some of the preferred embodiments of the invention, these options can be e.g. saving a number, call a number, add numbers, send messages, convert currencies and/or calculate. Thus, it will be very easy to access different features which are related to actions affected by the first group of keys. In this way, it may no longer be necessary for the user to browse among the plurality of menus in the menu structure, when he/she is going to use a feature related to an input from the first group of keys. Instead, the user gets a fast access to the menu items, when using the first group of keys, in combination with the operational key.
Further advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the dependent claims.
The invention will be described in greater detail in the following by way of example only and with reference to the attached drawings, in which
The keypad 2 has a first group of keys 7, e.g. alphanumeric keys, by means of which the user can enter a telephone number, write a text message (SMS), write a name (associated with the phone number), etc. Each of the twelve alphanumeric keys 7 is provided with a figure “0–9” or a sign “#” or “*”, respectively. In alpha mode each key is associated with a number of letters and special signs used in text editing.
The keypad 2 additionally comprises a second group of keys provided with two soft keys 8, two call handling keys 9, and a navigation key 10. The two soft keys 8 have a functionality corresponding to what is known from e.g. the phones Nokia 2110™ and Nokia 8110™. At least one of the soft keys is defined as an operation key 8 a having multiple functionality for handling access to a menu structure. The functionality of the operation key 8 a depends on the present state of the phone. The operation key is arranged to perform a group of predetermined actions associated with a state. The default function or the present function of the operation key 8 a can be displayed in a predetermined area 21 of the display 3, just above the key 8 a.
The scroll key 10, which can also be called a navigation key, is an up/down key and is placed centrally on the front surface of the phone between the display 3 and the group of alphanumeric keys 7. Hereby the user will be able to control this key by simply pressing the up/down key using his/her thumb, i.e. it allows the user to scroll between a group of items in e.g. a menu provided in the user interface. Since many experienced phone users are used to one-hand control, it is a very good solution to place an input key, requiring precise motor movements. Thus, the user may place the phone in the hand between the finger tips and the palm of the hand. Hereby, the thumb is free for inputting information. In a preferred embodiment, the scroll key can be a roller key (not shown), which is arranged to rotate in one or several directions. The roller allows the user to roll the key to scroll between different items in a menu. In case of a roller key, the operation key 8 a could be arranged to the roller, i.e. upon pressing on the roller the same functionality, as the operation key has, could be entered. The roller key is incorporated by reference in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/923,696.
Further, the scroll key 10 allows the user to scroll selectively between a group of items in a menu. This means that the user can select an item preceding or succeeding the item in the menu loop of the phone, while he/she can access a sub-menu loop under the item concerned in the menu loop by activation of the operation key 8 a.
In some states, e.g. upon entering a phone number on the alphanumeric keypad 7, the other soft key 8 b can be defined as a clear key, which may be used e.g. for erasing the last entered digit or letter by brief depression on the clear key 8 b. If the clear key 8 b being depressed under a longer duration the entire number or word will be erased. Like the operation key 8 a, the scroll key 10 and the clear key 8 b may advantageously be redefined in some states, which will be apparent from
Although it is shown in the preferred embodiment that many of the functions of the phone might be controlled by the operational key 8 a, it sometimes can be expedient to use two or more operational keys in the second group of keys, which can be integrated in a touch-sensitive display (not shown).
The two call handling keys 9 according to the preferred embodiment are used for establishing a call or a conference call, terminating a call or rejecting an incoming call.
The control means 18 is connected to the user interface. Thus, it is the control means 18 which monitors the activity in the phone and controls the display 3 in response thereto, in order to display the plurality of states which is assumed by the radiophone. Therefore, the control means 18 is arranged to detect the occurrence of a state change event, and changes the state of the radiophone. This state change event will affect the functionality of the operation key, and redefine it, in response to the preceding state and the nature of the detected state change event. Thus, this may also cause a change of the display text. A state change event may be caused by the user when he presses on the keypad, as shown in
The phone can assume a plurality of predetermined states, which is shown as examples with reference to
A state change event will result in a change from one state to another. The new state depends on the old state and the nature of the state change event. During an established call (“call established” state), the default function of the operation key 8 can be “end”. If a new incoming call “is waiting”, the user may use the scroll key 9 to change state to a list of options, including items such as “end”, “join”, “answer” and “swap” without interrupting the call.
Each state is associated with a predefined group of functions, actions and/or options. An action can also give access to different functions and/or options of a state. Establishment of conference calls, e.g., can be performed only when a call has already been established. A preferred function serving as the default function can be designated in each of these groups. This designation may be performed by a programmer during programming, by the user through his redefinition of the default function, or by the phone itself. If the phone itself designates a function, the phone may record the frequency of the use of the individual functions and appoints the most frequently used one in each group as the default function.
When the phone changes its state, the operation key can perform the default function if it is activated, and the user may toggle between the default function and the whole group of options by means of the scroll key. If the group of options is selected with the operation key, the user will be able to scroll through the group of options with the scroll key and to select the desired (designated) function with the operation key. When a function is selected with the operation key, the control means 18 runs the associated program sequence to execute the function.
A state change event will result in a change from one state to another. The new state depends on the old state and the nature of the state change event. During an established call (“call established” state), the default function of the operation key 8 can be “end”. If a new incoming call “is waiting”, the user may use the scroll key 10 to change state to a list of options, including items such as “end”, “join”, “answer” and “swap” without interrupting the call.
The User Interface
With reference to
When the user presses on one of the keys on the first group of keys, as defined with reference to
In accordance with the present invention, the next layout 85, shows the state after the user has pressed on the operational key having the functionality as “Menu” 75. This layout 85 is a menu 86 comprising a group of items, which are selectable by the scroll key from
In a preferred embodiment, a default item, might be “Save” 90. The save function 90 allows the user to save a record of the number in a phone book. The phone book is a phone number database stored in memory means, e.g. on the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card of the phone or in the memory in the phone itself. It may also be possible to add the number to an existing name in the database. Other preferable items in the menu 86, might be to establish a call to the entered number, to send an SMS (Short Message Service) message, “Send SMS” 95, to convert currencies, “To Domestic” 100/“To Foreign” 110, and/or to use a built-in calculator for processing the entered number in a calculation. All these features can be operatively arranged to the control means. If the user chooses to convert currencies, e.g. “To Domestic” 100, he/she presses on the “Select” key 87, and the display changes to the state as shown in layout 115. The operational key is changed from “Select” 87, as shown in the previous layout 85, to “Options” 120. The other soft key has also changed its function from “Back” 88 to “Exit” 125. The “Exit” 125 key changes the state back to the previous layout. The layout can be provided with different editable fields and selection list placeholders, which in this example are shown in square brackets ([ ]).
Since the user has entered the number “200” in idle state, as shown in layout 75, the selected amount to be converted is set to 200, “Amount:” 130. The selection which is highlighted can indicate a default state of the selection. Therefore, since the user in this example selected to convert the selected amount to a domestic currency, the default selection in this state is the currency which the user would like to convert from, “From: [DKK]” 135. The currency to convert to, “converted to [DKK]:” 140, is already set according to the user's domestic currency, as in this example is DKK.
In accordance with the present invention, the next layout 85, shows the state after the user has pressed on the operational key having the functionality as “Options” 75. This layout 85 is a menu 86 comprising a group of items, which are selectable by the scroll key from
The Decision Process
When the phone is in idle mode, it communicates with a fixed station at regular intervals via paging messages to maintain the connection, and it monitors its peripheral units in the form of battery, keypad, etc. It is the control means which controls these activities, and when it detects an event, it checks whether the phone is to change its state, e.g. from the “idle mode state” to the “incoming call state”.
In accordance with the present invention, a state change event caused by an input of the first group of keys when the radiophone is in its idle state, will redefine the function of the operation key, by replacing the old display text as disclosed in step 340. Thereafter, if the following state change event is caused by an input by the operation key, the control means will detect the combination of these two state change events in the next step 350, and display of a menu comprising a group of items as shown in step 360. Thereafter, the process can be completed “END” 400. The group of items is selectable by the scroll key, and is arranged to facilitate the access to the plurality of states when the phone is in an idle state. In other words, when the phone is in an idle state and one of the first group of keys is pressed, preferably an alphanumeric key, the operational key will change its appearance and the display accordingly. Thereafter, if the user presses on the operational key, a menu comprising a group of items will appear on the display. The items will be selectable by using the scroll key. Naturally, if the no state change event is detected in step 350, the process can be completed “END” 400.
The invention is not limited to the above described and in the drawings shown examples of an embodiment but can be varied within the scope of the appended claims. For example, it is possible to have additional actions in the menu to process an input from the first group of keys. Another action could be to search for a name or a number in the database provided in the memory means.
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|U.S. Classification||455/550.1, 715/786, 455/575.1, 379/368, 379/433.06, 455/90.1|
|International Classification||H04M1/725, H04M1/247|
|Cooperative Classification||H04M1/72583, H04M1/72519|
|Feb 18, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NOKIA MOBILE PHONES LIMITED, FINLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JARNSTROM, JOHANNA;JORGENSEN, HEIDI;REEL/FRAME:010578/0634;SIGNING DATES FROM 20000113 TO 20000117
|Apr 6, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NOKIA CORPORATION, FINLAND
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:NOKIA MOBILE PHONES LTD.;REEL/FRAME:019122/0553
Effective date: 20011001
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